HRSA eNews February 21, 2019

Rural Health Disparities to the Fore

HRSA Administrator Dr. George Sigounas met with the National Rural Health Association Policy Institute

Echoing recent Administration calls to action on opioids and HIV in rural America, Dr. George Sigounas in the opening of a comprehensive address Thursday to long-time advocates observed that "there are 252 rural counties in the United States without any health care providers."

"Recently, the CDC ... looked at excessive death rates and saw, first of all, that rural tended to be worst when looking at the leading causes of death," Dr. Sigounas said. "This data all but assured that the discussion needs to broaden to more than just health finance and workforce, (but) also focus on ... health disparities."

Read more about rural health disparities.

New Funding Opportunity: Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) Program

pregnant woman looking out a window

HRSA's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) will be releasing a Notice of Funding Opportunity for a new Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) Program. HRSA plans to fund three awards to formal or established networks serving rural communities as part of this funding opportunity.

Successful RMOMS award recipients will improve the access to and continuity of maternal and obstetrics care in rural communities. 

The funding opportunity will be posted in the next few weeks on

Read the news release.

Deadline Extended: NHSC Loan Repayment Programs

stock clipart of five medical professionals

The National Health Service Corps provides financial assistance to health care professionals in exchange for a commitment to work at approved sites in high-need, underserved areas. The application cycle for two programs – its Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LRP) and a new Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program (NHSC SUD Workforce LRP) are currently open. Both applications will close on Thursday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The NHSC LRP awards up to $50,000 toward student loans in exchange for a two-year commitment to work at approved sites in high-need, underserved areas.

The new NHSC SUD Workforce LRP provides up to $75,000 in exchange for a three-year commitment and expands eligible disciplines and site types for loan repayment. The program is open to health care professionals who provide substance use disorder treatment services at NHSC-approved SUD sites.

HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau Announces Phase 1 Winners of its Remote Pregnancy Monitoring Grand Challenge

remote pregnancy monitoring

HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) has selected 10 winners from Phase 1 of the Remote Pregnancy Monitoring Grand Challenge.

Each Phase 1 winner received a share of a $100,000 cash prize and will move on to Phase 2 to develop their prototype and begin small-scale testing through August 2019.

The winning innovations are technology-based solutions to help providers remotely monitor the health of pregnant women, and empower women to make informed decisions about their care.

The innovations selected target different populations, including care providers, families in rural and frontier areas, pregnant women, and new mothers.

For a list of the Phase 1 winners, visit the Challenge website's Winners Page.

Black Lung Clinics Program Turns 40

doctor with patient

Black Lung Clinics receive grant funding from HRSA to seek out and provide services to coal miners, whether they are currently involved in mining or not.

Services available to patients and their families (regardless of their ability to pay) include:

  • Outreach
  • Primary care (including screening, diagnosis and treatment)
  • Patient and family education and counseling (including anti-smoking education)
  • Patient care and coordination (including individual patient care plans for all patients and referrals as indicated)
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation

Learn more about black lung clinics.

How We Became Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champions

million hearts logo

The CDC Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge is a competition to identify clinicians, practices, and health systems that have demonstrated exceptional achievements in working with their patients to control hypertension. Champions achieved at least 80% blood pressure control (blood pressure reading <140 mmHg/<90 mmHg) among their hypertensive population ages 18 to 85. In 2018, CDC recognized five HRSA-funded health centers as Hypertension Control Champions.

This Heart Month, join a HRSA webinar to learn from three of these health centers:

Thursday, February 21
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Join the webcast the day of the session HRSA exit disclaimer
Call-in: 888-233-9404
Passcode: 2662064

In 2017, almost 63% of health center patients diagnosed with hypertension had controlled blood pressure. See more data about health center patients.

Patient Safety Week Webcast: Improving Diagnosis in Primary Care

doctor and patient

Patient Safety Week is March 10-16. HRSA will host a webcast featuring Dr. Gordon Schiff, a general internist and Associate Director of Brigham and Women’s Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Quality and Safety Director for the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care. Dr. Schiff will speak on the topic of improving diagnosis in primary care.

Wednesday, March 13
1:00-2:30 p.m. ET

Join the webcast the day of the session HRSA exit disclaimer

Medicare Physician Bonus Payment Eligibility Analyzer

medicare physician bonus payment eligibility analyzer screenshotOur new website has a tool to help you determine if your address in in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) that is eligible for Medicare physician bonus payments.

Check out the tool on

Women Hit Hardest by Opioid Crisis

Dr. Dorothy Fink

The national opioid epidemic, generally recognized as the greatest public health crisis since the dawn of the HIV/AIDS virus, is indisputably hardest on women, experts said at a Feb. 5 session -- the first in a series of planned meetings convened by HRSA to crack the problem of patchwork treatment and patient support for women in many parts of the country.

"Women are experiencing increases of use and overdose from opioids at a faster rate than men. And if you slice the demographic pie even more narrowly, the picture doesn't look a lot better. The opioid use disorder crisis affects women across all age groups, all racial groups, all ethnicities, all geographic quarters of America and all socioeconomic status levels." - Brian LeClair, HRSA Principal Deputy Administrator.

Read more about women and the opioid crisis.

Workforce Approaches to Violence Prevention and Response Across the Life Course

nearly 1 in 4 women; about 1 in 7 men

A recording of the Workforce Approaches to Violence Prevention and Response Across the Life Course webinar HRSA exit disclaimer is now available for viewing (it originally aired 1/31/2019).

The webinar covers the following information:

  • Advanced Nursing Education - Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (ANE-SANE) Program Overview
  • The Developing Brain and Preventing Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs)
  • Dynamics of Elder Abuse
  • Overview of Intimate Partner Violence Toolkit HRSA exit disclaimer

Watch the recorded webinar HRSA exit disclaimer.

Date Last Reviewed:  March 2019

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